Why I hate (dealing with) investors
Ok, we live in a capitalist society. Fortunately, we don't live in a state monopoly capitalist society like the USSR or North Korea, although that's the only silver lining. The truth is, capitalism sucks.
The reality is that, large scale undertakings like Total Rendition, like any other game play you enjoy, like any film you enjoy, requires backing from investors. The term angel investor is really a misnomer because if you put in half a million quid into a company in the hope of making it into one million quid, you are by definition motivated by nothing but greed (and sometimes brutal power as well, consider Harvey Weinstein). Indeed, we call venture capitalists little Weinsteins to underscore the difference in power between us game devs (and artists more generally, such as filmmakers and musicians) and them.
They are the ones who only want you to play Total Rendition provided they believe it fills their pockets. We don't mind getting funding from a little Weinstein, because one generally has little alternative otherwise. Reckon that all the great publishers are backed by little Weinsteins to do their bidding, so we have to do something to make sure the great publishers' role in the games industry will be over or, at the very least, be drastically reformed so they won't push micro-transactions anymore. And indeed, if Total Rendition becomes profitable, we will reluctantly give their cut as agreed.
However, we prefer to deal with patrons (not as in backers on Patreon, because Patreon sucks ass, exploits creators and forces creators to use anti-social media); those who invest in Total Rendition and don't care whether Total Rendition will become profitable or not, yet do care that Total Rendition comes to fruition. And in an ideal world, we wouldn't need financial backers to build Total Rendition to its end result at all, because I would not to pay myself and others for our efforts and therefore wouldn't need their investment to do it. We would not need to worry about paying our rent, paying our mortgages or our most basic needs and could focus on what we love to do instead.
Yet, by capitalism's twisted logic, your earning power determines your right to live with a roof over your head, while a trust-fund baby-karen can call the police on "squatters" (actually, the real owner-occupiers) of a house that baby-karen actually never set foot in, and even have them prosecuted, because, according to the government, the house is supposed to be owned by the titular "owner" (as much as the "owner" as the titular King of France is actually... er... King of France). The titular owner's parents, or their parents, or the parents thereof, probably at some point cut corners. Hard-work alone as a path to prosperity is a myth: I have actually met NHS nurses who still live in touristy hostels, because they don't earn enough to rent proper accommodation, let alone buy a house (and be done with that getting shitted around by landlords). Despite their essential work, they have no security where they live.
Nevertheless, the legal "loopholes" in the benefits systems are being closed and a new J.K. Rowling would not be able to emerge with the UK's current benefit systems: Artists who don't work on the side are effectively branded as work-shy. The DWP effectively considers me work-shy as well and has made no secret that they do not want me to live where I live, yet circumstances prevent me from doing otherwise. Their demeanour will of course change once Schizotypy Games receives funding, although I have no plans to pay income tax to the UK; why should I pay taxes to fund the murder of innocent men, women and children in Yemen, to a government which has placed me under arbitrary detention in relation to a vexatious lawsuit at several occasions yet has not given me a single penny of benefits I was supposed to get? I'm proud to be "work-shy"! Nevermind I actually work like 60 hours a week on Total Rendition, which should have earned my place in society long ago.
What angers me is that Nazi-platforms such as Parler and Gab manage to get millions of investment, whereas little Weinsteins still moan about market penetration regarding Total Rendition (where the majority of hostile NPCs probably would be Parler and Gab users). Whenever convenient, capitalism actively supports fascists and racists over their opponents. In fact, institutional racism is directly caused by capitalist imperatives: Since whites are indoctrinated by compulsory education to believe in the idea of racial threat, property prices plummet as soon as soon as the ethnic composition of given neighborhood changes as racists determine a significant share of the property market, thus encouraging deadly police action to keep property prices high (and people homeless).
This is why investors suck ass, because they are the chief beneficiaries of this crooked system: If I could just rob them at gunpoint and get away with it, as means of acquiring funding for Total Rendition's development, I'd probably do it. Although I don't want to give the police a reason to arrest me (even if I'm not black myself, I'm still sufficiently economically disadvantaged to be one karen's phone call away from a false arrest), or the BBFC a reason to withhold rating, which are the only reasons why I haven't and likely will never do so. However, all the little Weinsteins who have rejected Total Rendition have received insults that will hopefully build up the branding (boop!) that ensures they will pay for Total Rendition's production simply to not be insulted. Indeed, the Schizotypy brand must mean something and calling investors little Weinsteins is quite memorable! Thus, Schizotypy are the angels of vengeance in cyberspace!
Just to be clear, we don't torture investors nor even physically harm them. However, I still felt the piracy analogy is great: If the little Weinsteins can not be persuaded by the financial gain we may offer (yet they don't need anyway), then it should follow we should just cause them enough discomfort as permitted by law to make acquiescence a worthwhile option. Pay up for Total Rendition's production and maybe you'll get a cut, although at the very least, we won't taunt you, ridicule you or call you names, like as happened to Seed(y )camp: Seed(y )camp wrote to us:
Hi Team Schizotypy Games,
Thank you for submitting details about your startup and for your patience in waiting to hear back from us.
We’re sorry to say that your company was not selected to move to the next step of the selection process.
We know this is disappointing but please do not be discouraged - you are more than welcome to approach us in the future if your company has evolved and you are seeking investment again.
Unfortunately, due to the large volume of startups we hear from, we are unable to give individual feedback.
Wishing you lots of future success, The Seedcamp Team
In due course, my response to them could only be this:
Dear Seed(y )camp,
So, you are still wishing me a lot of success? Well, thanks for that!
That all being said, be very careful what you wish for: It may yet actually happen!
Now, my only mistake is that I perhaps should have written on behalf of the Total Rendition Dev Team, although the Total Rendition Dev Team is an unincorporated association that simply comprises everyone who has in some contributed to Total Rendition. Schizotypy Games is our publisher and is run solely by me, in the understanding that not everyone wishes to be involved in business matters, nor should be for that matter. Personally, being a company director is a rather unwelcome fact of life that I have to deal with, because Schizotypy Games is nothing like the gazillion startups which - in a matter of speaking at the very least - are trying to monetise farts. That's merely the facade we use to get little Weinstein's lower their guard.